Updates from the Field: DreamYard Art Center

Creative Arts Therapy Team

This year the Art Center will be instituting an expanded Creative Arts Therapy initiative for all of the students and families of the Center. This initiative will provide therapy services through creative practices as an alternative to traditional talk psychotherapy. Students and families are welcome to create during our time together through visual arts, dance and other forms of creative expression that can function as therapeutic catalysts for personal and interpersonal development, self exploration and mental health maintenance.

Of course, our therapists are happy to provide traditional psychotherapy or talk therapy, but we like to operate outside the box and encourage our students and families to do the same.

The team is comprised of one full-time therapist, Sandralis Gines Gonzalez, and one part-time therapist, Yelimara Concepcion.

If you or your family need more resources please reach out to Sandralis Gines Gonzalez at sgines-gonzalez@dreamyard.com.


Parent Ambassador

Art Center Programs announce with excitement our new Parent Ambassador Iris Pineiro! Ms. Iris has been an integral part of our DreamYard community for sometime and will be expanding her work this year in ensuring all of our families are engaged and are a part of our special events and have the support that they require.

If you are a parent or family member and want to learn more about how to get involved in our DreamYard community please reach out to Ms. Pineiro at the DreamYard Art Center.


Middle and High School Programs: MS Rites of Passage Launch

The Middle and High School Programs are preparing for another great year at the Art Center. As we enter into the new year we have some exciting news about our program structure.

DreamYard Art Center is implementing it’s first Middle School Rites of Passage Program to create intentional and dedicated space for this important student population.  In understanding that young people at this critical transition have specific emotional, physical, and social shifts occurring, it essential that the community prepares our young people with the tools necessary to succeed in this aspect of their individual and collective journeys.

This innovative model will fuse the concepts of different indigenous cultures’ methods of transitioning young people of this age through open circle communication, community-building, developing common language, understanding self-love, and creating their own unique culture and awareness about their society through art and Social Justice. In this way the young people can understand how their ancestors addressed the needs of their communities and have an appreciation for the societies that their ancestors sustained and created.  Those cultures and peoples being the very ones who were and are oppressed and appropriated from to this day. We look forward to onboarding our first cohort in our Middle School Rites of passage in this upcoming year!

To register for our Middle or High School programs fill out an application here: http://www.dreamyard.com/art-center/, or reach out to Chelsea John at cjohn@dreamyard.com.  


MINIs Update

As we transition into Autumn, we’re looking back on the incredible Summer we had during our first MINIs Summer Program. During that week our students created work under the genre of environmental arts with the Adinkra symbol asase ye duru guiding our process. Asase ye duru, a principle hailing from Ghana means ‘“the Divinity of Mother Earth,” “the Earth has weight,” and “providence, power, & authority.” Our teaching artists and students dealt with the paradox of creating & maintaining self-determination by way of a relationship with the Earth. Their culminating work resulted in maps and mandalas that examined how the systems in Nature can inform identity and community relationships.

With all of the hands-on work that our students did this Summer, we were excited to revive our DIY classes for the school year! Some of the topics we’ll cover during our Literacy Hour portion of programs are photography, cooking and wellness concepts from our students’ heritages, and gardening. These DIY classes will give our students an opportunity to share their skills with one another and grow our collective literateness in these areas!

We also want to extend a warm and grateful welcome to our new Class Leads Takima Martin (K-1), Kaila Paulino (2-3), and A.V Wayans (4-5)!


Family Freedom Fridays

This year we are continuing our special curation of the ACP Family Freedom Fridays, as a space for our DreamYard family to come together and Get Free!  Please join us at one of our community events this year:

  • Fall Fun: Friday, November 16, 4-6pm

  • Winter Wonderland: Friday, December 14, 4-6pm

  • Spring Bling: Friday, March 15, 4-6pm